Ducks in the Amazon River Basin…

I swear…Amazon does occasionally listen.  Either that, or they’ve been stalking my blog and decided to do something nice for me in hopes that I’ll boost their 3rd quarter earnings.

Untitled

THIS particular offering actually had me drooling.  Pliers?  Oh, yea, baby…bring it on!

Right now, I’m practically wedded to my Xuron Chisel Nose pliers.  They are my go-to’s.  I loved the Chisel Nose so much, I ended up going out and buying a second pair for those REALLY tight spaces…which, in my world, is almost anytime I build something.

Sculpture inherently demands the removal of as much ‘wiggle room’ as possible.

 

I’ve looked at, and drooled over, the Tronex tools for quite a while, as there are plenty of other maillers in my group who swear by them over my beloved Xurons.  There are only 2 reasons why I’ve not jumped at new tools.

  1. I love my Xuron’s, and they might feel ‘cheated on’ and
  2. HOLY SHIT – look at the PRICE of the Tronex!

Right now, though, my credit card is in time out status, as I’m not buying anything I don’t absolutely NEED because I’m gonna have to dump it in a box and move it, so the Tronex/Xuron/Me love triangle will have to wait until probably September.

Hmmm…my birthday is in September.  Maybe get myself a little something? 😀

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In totally unrelated news – last week, I got to walk to work exactly 1 time.  Rain, a wicked cold, and running for house-related things kinda ate up the rest of my week.  But that one day I did get to march my happy feet on the pavement, I had a solidly FUN experience.

Because of the rain, my normal route was slightly flooded.  The park IS right next to the river, after all, and when it rains, it retains.  We had enough standing water to flood out the walking path right along the river bank.  But looking at the bright side of things, the new puddles did serve to amuse the ducks…

Duck in puddle

The good news was, the park wasn’t flooded enough for me to have to turn around.  I could still get up the hill and take ‘the high road’ as it were.  Up by the street, the park has not flooded since I’ve been walking things.

When I got to the park on the walk home, I wanted to see JUST how much water was standing, figuring I could hike up the rise if things got too soggy.

And soggy, they were.  There were a couple of large patches of water covering the footpath and surrounding grasses.

But then, I took inspiration from the little duck I’d seen in the morning…

Shoes and socks came off.  Pant legs got rolled up.  And I SPLASHED my way through the standing water.

Why do we stop doing things like this when we’re adults?  It was FUN.

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A Chainmaille Tribute to that ‘S’ word

Late last month, I got a rather urgent call from my SQO.  He was over at his Aunt’s place, and was going to be there a little while longer than planned, because they had to wait for the EMS.

His mother was visiting as well, and, upon exiting her car, she misplaced a foot.  The difference in elevation between the driveway and the lawn snagged an unwary victim, and she ended up falling out of her car.

Diagnosis:  she broke a hip.

Now, if we ‘age’ this wonderful lady by her attitude, I’d put her in the late teens.  She’s a fiery person in a chronologically-correct 80 year old shell.  So, with bones having spent that amount of time defying gravity’s pull, her doctors decided to replace the joint, rather than immobilize and let it heal naturally.

I had an opportunity to visit with her in the hospital…and made her a little something to brighten her room.

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The flowers are sprouting ALL over my little corner of the Earth.  Winter is back in the coat closet 😀

 

Ducks, Clocks, Sunshine and Bananas

I make no apologies for the content of this post…I need to drain the brain, such as it were, so be warned…weirdness inside…

now that I’ve scared off the timid… 

Last night, I went to my favorite ring vendor to drool, dream, and torture my credit card.  What do I see front and center?

 

The duckies are spreading 😀

And how appropriate – for a Tweet to appear featuring one of them?  Maybe I can convince Twitter to start calling them ‘Quacks’ instead of ‘tweets?’

To celebrate, I went to my Etsy account, and scheduled a sale…from March 22nd to the 29th, I’ll be knocking off 15% of the sale price of any of the Duck YEAH sculptures listed on the site, so I can spread them far and wide.

 

 

And, in COMPLETELY unrelated news…we’ve shifted our clocks again to be on daylight savings time.  Not sure what daylight I’m saving by this move (as far as I can tell, the sun shines the length of time it’s gonna shine no matter what our clocks say…), and I’ve gone from getting out of bed while the sun is JUUUUST peeking around the buildings to it being dark and cold again.  I’m sure there was some little toadie in some office somewhere in this country who thought it would be nice to get up BEFORE the sun, and everyone should be so ‘lucky.’

To which I say “Dude…get a damn cat, and leave the food bowls empty overnight.”  I can guarantee you’ll be getting up at Feed-me-O’Clock and the rest of us can sleep in!

 

 

And…slightly related but yea, that’s a stretch here…I had a hard time falling to sleep last night, partly because of the yearly issue with the aforementioned clocks and sun, but also because I had an earworm running rather loudly in my head.

The fun part (or annoying, as this one was chasing off the illusive ZZZ’s…) it the worms were singing it wrong.  I now am utterly convinced there’s a line in Weird Al’s ‘Tacky” song that goes…

“banana-flavored love machine…”

 

I may have to step away from the iPod for a few days…

First World Artist Problems

So…I had a thing happen on Etsy today.

 

I listed out my stainless steel dodecahedron July of 2016.  It languished on the site, got some views, some favorites, but never attracted a buyer.  I priced it higher than most of the goodies on my store for a couple of reasons.

  1. It’s 16 gauge stainless steel rings.  A LOT of them.
  2. Stainless is a right royal bitch to work with.  It fights (and sometimes BITES) back.
  3. It took several hours of hard work time.  It also spent some time languishing in the “what…how…am I doing this RIGHT???” project pile on a corner of my desk.  While there IS a tutorial on M.A.I.L., it’s one of the very scaled down ones, and didn’t offer much help besides: just study the form, it should be easy…
  4. It wasn’t.
  5. It was proceeded by older brothers who never really got past the ‘well, THAT didn’t work’ pile, and got deconstructed.
  6. It was the first time I EVER successfully completed a 3D form.

 

Early this morning, someone bought my ball.

I’m kinda on the fence with this one.  On one hand, I’m happy that someone appreciates sculptural forms enough to purchase one from me…but on the other hand….

it’s kinda like selling my first born.

Once I got over the sentiment, I wrapped him up in paper and a box, plastic on the outside of that box, more stuffing and a bigger box, which I then taped the living hell out of.  He’ll make it, as safely as I can make it, all the way to California.

I even hugged the box for good measure…

My toys travel farther than I do 😀

Life’s Just Ducky

It was a good weekend here in the frozen wastelands of Wisconsin.

First…it wasn’t FROZEN.  Saturday, with the sunshine, lack of wind, and Mother Nature having a hot flash, we saw temps raise above 50.

It.  Was.  WARM.

So I did what any self-respecting Wisconsinite did.  I went for a walk, to enjoy this breath of non-frozen fresh air…because it ain’t gonna last.

I did a good 2 miles, and got to speak with a portion of the river I haven’t had the opportunity to visit with since it got cold.

Jan 2018 river

I also played with a new weave called Borealis. (The chainmaille ‘purists’ out there in the world call it ‘True Aura Sheet,’ but I don’t believe in being that formal.)  It’s a weave I’ve drooled over for quite a bit.  And, because it’s a weave with a good write-up on the M.A.I.L. site, but no formal tutorial, my earlier attempts have ended up in the ‘Well, THAT didn’t work’ pile more often than not.

Because I was soooooo excited to get this weave in my head and hands…I tossed out three pieces.

A medallion, which was the first piece.  This ended up rigid and slightly cupped, so expanding it out farther is probably not possible without the weave physically locking up (the pattern simply tightens down so far that you can no longer ‘insert ring A in position B’).  BUT – what it ends up as is tantalizing.  I can see colors turning this piece into a real head-turner.

borealis pendant

After the initial weaving produced this cupped, round form, I tried with slightly different rings…and came up with this:

Borealis sphere stand

As you can see, I went the wrong way – the rings used in this form curled rather aggressively, and I only did a single ‘strand’ of the stuff.  It was quite easy to stitch the two ends together seamlessly, though…and it makes a wonderful, rigid circle, perfect as a display stand for circular objects of all sizes.

Which leads me to my third object:

1st rubber ducky

It’s a Chainmaille RUBBER DUCKY!

I gotta admit – this one was FUN.  Sculptural forms in maille are really where I live and breathe.  Granted, the form still needs a bit of work.  The head isn’t attached to the crest of the duck seamlessly – I gotta fix that.  The duck’s bill isn’t completely solid in the form, I gotta fix that, too.  And…I really want to add color to this guy, which carries it’s own laundry-list of troubles.

But is a rubber ducky made out of little metal rings still a RUBBER ducky?  Or just a very RubberDucky-ish form?

Visions of a Celtic Bastard

 

Wow…that’s a weird title…

It’s also the name of a brand new – never before configured – chainmaille weave.

And I’m the one who did it  😀

insert bragging rights here…

See…I had an idea.

Yea…me & ideas.  Usually make the household run for the hills…

I’ve been playing with Celtic Visions, which is the core chain weave used to make those little flowers I’d been messing about with.

These…for a refresher…Single Unit

I took the flower form, and turned it into the balls I then gifted for the holiday.

Here…have a ball…

On Hook

And it’s also featured quite heavily in the holey grail/Tree of Life forms I’ve been developing…

Soooo…with this weave currently occupying the ‘hot seat’ in my head…

The muses LOVE to muck about with that hot seat stuff…

I really, REALLY wanted to sheet the weave.

‘Sheeting’ a weave, in chainmaille terminology, is when you add additional rows to a chain weave to make a larger-than-a-single-row chain of any chainmaille pattern.  Useful for making armor, belts, bags, and other sculptural elements out of little metal rings.

If you haven’t already guessed, I’ve got a rather large weakness for sculpture made outta those little metal rings…

 

So, with the Muses fully fueled with starches (well, it WAS the holidays, and I DID cheat more than just a bit on the Keto thing…) and pliers in hand, I started to play with the pattern.

BAM!!!!!!

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Dutifully, I posted a shot of the weave on my chainmailler’s group on Facebook, looking for someone to ‘name’ the weave.   See…I figured if my logic strings wandered along these easy pathways, someone HAD to have configured this weave before, and I wanted to give it the proper name.

The enthusiasts I associate with in my group are big on keeping the names of patterns ‘pure.’  No sense in having a dozen names for the same damn weave, after all.  We often quote the website M.A.I.L. as the leading repository of weave names, descriptions, and a LOT of tutorials.

Imagine my surprise when I find out this new weave does NOT appear anywhere on the M.A.I.L. website….

That means I get to claim it and name it.

In my mind, calling it ‘Visions of a Celtic Bastard’ is perfect, because that’s essentially what I did – I bastardized the original Celtic Visions weave simply by dropping one ring out of the chain form, and stabilizing it once it spreads to a sheet form.

 

My chainmailler’s group has gone completely berserk over this new weave.  So far, I’ve had multiple deman…er…requests for a tutorial.  Someone wants to take the weave and make a ‘badass guitar strap,’ someone else has suggested it would make a fantastic watch band, and yet another wants to do a complete chainmaille vest outta the stuff.

So…if you don’t hear from me for a bit, I’m currently ‘chained’ to my computer, writing a how-to for a new weave.

 

At any rate…it’s purdy 😀

Balls!

 

This started as a little lark about a month ago.

Single Unit

The chainmaille form is called the Celtic Star.  Basically, it’s a short length of Celtic Visions (WHERE do we maillers come up with these weird names???) chain circled around to join with itself and all the outside frilly bits tied up nicely with additional rings.

Well, I attached a couple of these stars together.   And…meh.  Took that apart, and attached a different way.  That’s when the muse woke up.

Day 8

Why is there a voice in my head right at this very moment screaming “DUCK AND COVER!”?

See – the 4 flowery forms had attached in a configuration that was VERY familiar.

So I rather quickly built up 2 more stars, and put them in juuuuuust the right spots.

Half Ball

BINGO!

I had half a dodecahedron…my favorite little 12-sided Platonic Solid.

I liked this form so much, I immediately went out (well, in…as most of my jumpring suppliers are online) and got the right size rings in bright red and green.  I was making ornaments for the SQO’s family for Christmas.

Look pretty, no?

On Hook